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Former Houston Roughneck PJ Walker Re-Signs with the Carolina Panthers

PJ Walker looks to be avoiding spring football for the 2022 season. The former XFL MVP front runner seems to have found a home in Charlotte and signed a one-year deal on Monday and will try to extend his career in the NFL.

Walker has been with the Panthers since 2020. After spending three seasons on and off the practice squad of the Indianapolis Colts, Walker would be drafted by the Houston Roughnecks in the XFL’s 2020. Walker would quickly establish himself as a fan favorite and essentially a de-facto MVP of the league before COVID forced the league to shut down. Walker also earned high praise from his former teammate Andrew Luck, who was instrumental in getting Walker an opportunity in the XFL.

HOUSTON TEXAS FEBRUARY 16 PJ Walker 11 of the Houston Roughnecks runs with the ball against the St Louis Battlehawks at TDECU Stadium on February 16 2020 in Houston Texas Photo by Bob LeveyGetty Images

Upon the termination of the XFL, Walker reunited with his old college coach Matt Rhule, where he would spend the 2020 and 2021 as the Backup Quarterback for Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold and Cam Newton. With Sam Darnold set to return for at least one more year, and Cam also stating he’d like to return, Walker’s future may be as a reserve option for the Panthers. One thing is for sure, Walker’s play in the NFL hasn’t inspired many that he is a high-level backup.

Despite Carolina winning both of PJ Walker’s starts he hasn’t played particularly well. Walker in eight appearances (two starts) has thrown for 568 yards, one touchdown to six interceptions, 57% completion pct, and a passer rating of 51.6. Nothing about those numbers wow me or probably anyone for that matter, and when you watch him one film, he often times looks overmatched and small in the pocket. However, Matt Rhule has enough faith to want to bring Walker back for a third year. Which, many experts say is an extremely crucial year for Rhule.

Carolina Panthers quarterback PJ Walker looks to pass against the Atlanta Falcons during the second of an NFL football game Thursday Oct 29 2020 in Charlotte NC AP PhotoMike McCarn

Despite Walker’s limitations it is clear that the Panthers do see value in him and his presence on the roster. Walker’s status with Rhule does seem to benefit him in a positive way tremendously and looks like his golden ticket to his roster spot and extending his career in the NFL. Regardless, Walker would be an extremely welcomed addition to the XFL 3.0 in 2023, as Dany Garcia and The Rock could use a familiar face to bring stability to the league.

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Pat Rifino is a former Security Contractor turned writer. He began his writing career talking about geo-politics, and the defense industry. Now Pat writes about alt-league football, while hanging with his dogs in his off time.

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